“They Don’t Think Like Us”: Exploring Attitudes of Non-Transgender Students Toward Transgender People Using Discourse Analysis

Christopher Day, Kate Nicholls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Literature concerned with attitudes toward transgender (TG)
individuals has been found to be lacking. Predominant research is quantitative and the few qualitative studies either investigated TG experience or attitudes of those with personal experience of TG people.
This study investigated this topic using a qualitative approach
employing semi-structured interviews exploring beliefs, understanding, and experience of TG people. Foucauldian Discourse
Analysis was used to analyze the language used to construct
a “transgender” discourse. Participants were cisgender, heterosexual, female participants from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds (n = 6).
Prevalent discourses were; “Heteronormativity as a Benchmark,”
“The Ease of Disclosure’“ and “Actualising the Other.” Participants
consistently drew on discourse that constructed TG as “other.”
Findings indicate a need to attend to context, as well as content,
when exploring attitudes and that covert forms of prejudice need
to be addressed and could inform anti-prejudice interventions and the creation of future transphobia measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2019



  • LGBT+
  • Othering
  • attitudes
  • heteronormativity
  • prejudice
  • transgender
  • transphobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this